Posted by Sade Williams
The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) Nigeria, has released three final reports including that of serious incident involving a Gulfstream G-IV aircraft owned and operated by Skybird Air Ltd with nationality and registration marks 5N-BOD, which occurred at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on 12th September, 2018; report on the serious incident involving a Boeing 747-200 aircraft owned and operated by Kabo Air Ltd with nationality and registration marks 5N-JRM which occurred at Sultan Abubakar Airport, Sokoto (DNSO), Sokoto State on 4th October, 2013 and the report on the serious incident involving a B737-500 aircraft owned and operated by Aero Contractors Company of Nigeria Ltd with nationality and registration marks 5N-BLG, which occurred on Runway 18R, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos on 9th April, 2016.
This is as the Bureau in its safety recommendations, asked the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to comply with the Air Operators’ Certificate (AOC) application/renewal process and ensure that the process is completed in accordance with the guidance materials issued by the Authority prior to issuance of the AOC to applicants.
The Bureau also released two Bulletin Reports including the incident involving a Tampico Club TB-9 aircraft owned and operated by Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) with nationality and registration marks 5N-CBG which occurred at Zaria Aerodrome, Kaduna State on 10th December, 2013 and another Bulletin report on the incident involving a Tampico Club TB-9 aircraft owned and operated by Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) with nationality and registration marks 5N-CBB, which occurred at Zaria Aerodrome, Kaduna State on 18th June, 2014.
On the serious incident involving the Gulfstream, Engr. Akin Olateru, Commissioner, AIB-N, who briefed Journalists at the Bureau ‘s headquarters in Abuja on Thursday, said delayed response by the crew to recognize that the ground spoilers and thrust reversers were locked out led to the runway overrun.
He identified the contributory factor to be delayed deployment of ground spoilers led to the flight crew’s problems in stopping the airplane within the remaining available runway length.
Sixteen safety recommendations were released in all.
Nine safety recommendations, including the fact that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) should ensure that disabled aircraft are promptly removed from the incident site in accordance with Disable Aircraft Recovery Manual NAIA Abuja; FAAN should ensure the Roles and responsibilities of stakeholders as stipulated in the Airport Emergency Plan (AEP) are strictly adhered to in case of any occurrence and that Authority should ensure that ARFFS units are adequately staffed at a level that enables ARFFS personnel, upon arrival at an accident scene, to conduct exterior fire-fighting activities, interior fire suppression attack and a rescue mission concurrently, were made on the Gulfstream incident.
The Bureau also asked the NCAA to ensure that all G-IV operators adhere strictly to normal operating procedures regarding the nutcracker system apart from ensuring that all G-IV operators, require flight crew to call-out if the ground spoilers do not automatically deploy and the thrust reversers are not deployed during landing, also a call-out when the ground spoilers have deployed, and verify they include these procedures in their checklists, and training programs. The procedures should clearly identify which pilot is responsible for making these call-outs and which pilot is responsible for deploying the spoilers if they do not automatically deploy.
“NCAA should intensify its oversight function on Skybird Air Limited’s operations. NCAA should comply with the AOC application/renewal process and ensure that the process is completed in accordance with the guidance materials issued by the Authority prior to issuance of the AOC to applicants.
“SkyBird Air Limited should ensure that all their cabin crew are adequately and properly type rated on specific aircraft to be flown by a cabin crew member in accordance with the Operations Manual.
“SkyBird Air Limited should ensure that all flight release documents are duly signed by the commander of the flight before departure and appropriate copies kept on board the flight” , Olateru said.
On the serious incident involving B747-300 aircraft belonging to Kabo Air, the AIB recommended that Kabo Air should ensure that flight recording devices (FDR and CVR) installed on all aircraft in its fleet are preserved, maintained, serviceable, and operated in accordance with the provisions of the existing Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig. CARs) Parts 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124 (a), 126.96.36.199 (b)(c) and 188.8.131.52.
On the B737-500 aircraft operated by Aero Contractors, three Safety Recommendations were made.
The AIB-N said Aero Contractors Company of Nigeria Limited should lay more emphasis during flight crew simulator trainings, on the effects of excessive rudder application at high speeds during landing roll, particularly on wet/contaminated runways.
It also recommended that Aero Contractors’ management should sensitise their crew members on the necessity of reporting notifiable occurrences.
It said the NCAA should ensure that all airline operators review their SOPs to include procedure for isolating power to the cockpit voice recorder to preserve its contents from being overwritten, in the event of any reportable occurrence.
Olateru advised stakeholders to ensure that they avail themselves of the AIB-N reports, draw useful lessons from them and implement the safety recommendations where applicable, adding that if they fail to do these, all the time and resources invested into the investigation of serious incidents and accidents by AIB-N would have been wasted.
“Safety recommendations are critical to the Bureau’s basic role of accident prevention since it is the lever used to bring about safety changes to, and improvements in the nations aviation system. It is therefore expected that the stakeholders would take the AIB-N safety recommendations very seriously and complement AIB-N’s efforts by implementing the recommendations, where applicable, to prevent future recurrence of similar events.
“I would also like to implore all domestic airline operators and professionals in the industry especially to always take time to read AIB-N reports with a view to drawing lessons that can improve aviation safety in their individual operations. This is regardless of whether they were involved in the occurrences investigated or not.
“Safety in the aviation sector is a collective exercise and therefore requires that stakeholders including agencies, operators and relevant professionals accept responsibilities and play their parts creditably. This is the way to go if we must sustain the current impressive level of safety in the Nigerian aviation sector.
The purpose of accident investigation, however, is not to apportion blame or liability but to prevent future recurrence of similar incidents” , he said.
Three weeks ago, the AIB-N released four final reports to the public.
Inclusive in those final reports were eight Safety Recommendations. Today, with the release of three additional reports, AIB-N has so far released a total of 59 final reports since its establishment in 2007 while a total of 40 final reports out of these were under the current administration of the Bureau.